It was a sensational second day’s play at Trent Bridge as England bounced back out of nowhere to make it even-steven in the Second Test Match. Stuart Broad produced a sensational hat-trick through which England came back in the game despite a superb 34th Test century from Rahul Dravid. The match situation is now tensely poised with England trailing behind by 43 runs with 9 second innings wickets in hand on what is a spicy pitch for the batsmen. If the first day’s play saw 11 wickets going down, then the second day’s play was no less as it saw 10 wickets tumble down to put this match in a fast forward mode.
Tale of the Morning Session :
India resumed Day 2 at 24 for 1 in 15 overs with Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman expected to carry out an important task for the visitors. It was a bright sunny day and that was enough for the Indian batsmen to make merry. The two batsmen put up a solid partnership of 93 runs until England finally got the breakthrough in the 36th over. VVS Laxman (54 from 112 balls with 10 fours) went back and poked at an away going delivery outside off to edge a Tim Bresnan’s delivery to the keeper.
The visitors did exceedingly well to lose only Laxman in the entire morning session to take the score to 117 for 2 in 43 overs with Dravid fighting hard on 44 along with Tendulkar who moved to 14* with the deficit brought down to 104 runs.
Tale of the Afternoon Session :
Tendulkar gave a poor opening to the post lunch session throwing his wicket away in the very first over! Sachin wanted to play an attacking flashy cut shot to a short and wide delivery but the ball had kicked up more than what he had anticipated to nick it to first slip. It was not a wicket taking delivery at all from Stuart Broad but was good enough to send Tendulkar cheaply for 16 (from 34 balls with 3 fours).
Next man in, Suresh Raina struggled against Broad but he did play a couple of lovely shots to keep the momentum going for India. However, Suresh Raina (12 from 22 balls with 2 fours) got out soon in the 51st over reaching out to a short and wide delivery from birthday boy Anderson and slicing it hard in the air straight to Morgan at backward point. India were in trouble at 139 for 4 facing a deficit of 83 more runs. A determined Yuvraj Singh played his shots whenever the opportunity was there and at the same time was lucky to get dropped by Kevin Pieteresen at gully which was going to prove very costly for the hosts!
Yuvraj with Dravid formed what was perhaps going to be a match winning partnership as the pair saw through the afternoon session taking India to 215 for 4 in 73 overs. Dravid got to 83* and Yuvraj stroking his way to 43*.
Tale of the Final Session :
It was just too flat for England until the second new ball was taken and India were steadily building their lead. Stuart Broad was the saviour for England as he got the desperate breakthrough to end the 128-run partnership for the 5th wicket. Yuvraj Singh (62 from 115 balls with 10 fours) was the man dismissed as he was forced to nick a rising delivery around middle to the keeper. India’s lead at this stage was 46 runs.
In the 88th over, things changed dramatically in this Test Match as Stuart Broad produced a hat-trick to reduce India from 273 for 5 to 273 for 8! First to depart was Skipper MS Dhoni (4 from 9 balls) who threw his wicket away chasing a widish pitched up delivery to get a thick edge that was taken at second slip. The next ball, Harbhajan Singh (0 from 1 ball) neither came forward nor went back to a full delivery which swung back to strike him on the pad infront of middle to be given out lbw. There could have been a fine nick onto the pad but there was no review for an lbw in this series.
The magical hat-trick for Broad came when Praveen Kumar (0 from 1 ball) instead of coming forward went back to get bowled right through the gate by one that nipped back to hit middle. Rahul Dravid who was shocked to see the game change despite his industrious efforts threw away his wicket in disgust upper cutting Bresnan straight to square thirdman in the 89th over. It still was a heroic knock with Dravid coming up with a 34th Test hundred, finishing with 117 balls from 235 balls with 15 fours on a very difficult pitch. India’s last pair added 15 runs to stretch the lead to 67 runs before Ishant Sharma (3 from 12 balls) miscued his pull shot off Broad to get caught at short leg. His partner Sreesanth was stranded on 7* (from 6 balls) as India got bowled out for 287 in 91.1 overs. Broad finished the innings with rich figures of 24.1-8-46-6!
England had 11 overs to negotiate before stumps. They lost Alastair Cook (5 from 11 balls) in the 4th over with the left hander going back for a flick shot around leg and was squared up by an Ishant Sharma delivery to end up with a leading edge caught by Yuvraj at gully. The hosts survived the rest of the session to finish at 24 for 1 in 11 overs with Andrew Strauss on 6* and Ian Bell on 5*. Earlier there was a massive blow for England as Jonathan Trott tumbled awkwardly on his shoulder while trying to put in a diving stop at mid off. That incident has left Trott with a sling arm and has ruled him out from batting in the second innings!